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Exploiting social media for Stakeholder Engagement in Non-Profit Sporting Organisations

Mullan, Kevin and Latham, Annabel (2019) Exploiting social media for Stakeholder Engagement in Non-Profit Sporting Organisations. In: 6th European Conference on Social Media (ECSM 2019), 13 June 2019 - 14 June 2019, Brighton, UK.

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Abstract

Social media has proliferated almost every type of organisation. The most important factor is, how social media is used effectively and efficiently within the organisation. Non-profits are already at a disadvantage compared to those that set out to make money, who have more resources, capabilities and money at their disposal. Social media, therefore, can act as a conduit to engage stakeholders and develop and maintain these relationships to help with organisational productivity, image and growth. This paper describes a study to understand the relationship social media has with stakeholders and a non-profit sporting organisation, called Eoghan Rua Gaelic Athletic Club, and investigate how social media can be advantageous to non-profits when used in an efficient and productive manner. This is an area of research that has remained relatively untouched and where a narrative gap is very prevalent. It is hoped that this research will be of use to those investigating social media and to non-profit organisations within sport. The ultimate aim of the study was the creation of a social media framework of policies and recommendations for the non-profit sports organisation to follow. The framework was developed to help the organisation utilise their social media activities and develop and maintain stakeholder relationships within the organisation itself. The study consisted of primary and secondary research, using a mixed methods approach, which involved interviews and questionnaires with various stakeholder groups in the organisation. Results revealed that motivations for using social media were different within the organisation and different ages and stakeholder groups use different social media applications for different purposes. Ultimately the most telling result was the positive effect social media had on the club and its exposure to stakeholders inside and prospective stakeholders outside of the organisation.

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